Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy appears set to make his season debut this weekend.
On Saturday, Murphy was activated from injured reserve following a lengthy absence due to a back injury that’s sidelined him since the start of training camp in September. To make room for Murphy’s spot on the roster, Gustav Forsling was placed on injured reserve, retroactive to Dec. 5.
Murphy, 25, was acquired by Chicago in the 2017 offseason as part of the trade that sent Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes. In his first season with the Blackhawks, Murphy appeared in 76 games, scoring two goals with 12 assists while averaging 16:22 of ice time.
Forsling, 22, also missed training camp with a wrist injury that required surgery in the offseason. In late October, Forsling was sent to the Rockford IceHogs and appeared in five games before making his season debut with the Blackhawks on Nov. 14. Forsling appeared in 11 games with one goal and four assists, averaging 20:29 of ice time.
He was injured during Wednesday’s against the Anaheim Ducks, forcing him out of the lineup for Thursday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton told reporters that Forsling was “day-to-day” with a shoulder injury prior to being placed on injured reserve.
Murphy and the rest of the Blackhawks return to United Center ice on Sunday evening to face the Montreal Canadiens.